November ONS Trade Figures Highlight Sharp Deficit Increase

The ONS trade figures in November continued its downward trajectory as businesses looked to moderate the uncertain post-Brexit sentiment. During the 3-month period between August and November, the total trade deficit narrowed by £0.4 billion to £11 billion, reflecting the rise in exports on the back of the weaker pound. After a brief period of appreciation in late 2016, the pound has since then dropped again in early 2017 as the risk of a ‘hard Brexit’ is rising. Dun & Bradstreet argues that businesses must remain calm and operate cautiously as the UK economy continues to fluctuate erratically.

The decline of the trade deficit over the past months is in line with our baseline scenario with politics still impacting heavily on the exchange rate. However, businesses that turn to data might locate smarter areas of growth and unlock financial stability. A technology-led approach that calls on data points to unravel business potential can enable this. Risk management will be crucial for businesses too as we move further into 2017, particularly with Article 50 likely to be invoked before the end of March. Prepare now, prevent potential business loss and beat competitors that don’t take notice of the economic warnings.”

Markus Kuger, Senior Economist, Dun & Bradstreet

Author: Dylan Jones

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